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Centre for Photonic Devices and Sensors



Emeritus Professor John Carroll

email: jec1000

John Carroll is an Emeritus Professor at Cambridge where he became a lecturer in 1967 and subsequently a Director of Studies at Queens' College, Reader, Professor, Head of B Division, Chairman of the Council of the School of Technology and member of the General Board before retiring in 2001. He has been a chairman of the local IEE section, Editor of the IEE Journal "Solid State Electron Devices" and has served on the IEE Accreditation Board. He is currently a Life Fellow of Queens' College and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

After graduation as a Wrangler he was offered jobs as a 'tame mathematician' but found more interest in untamed experimental research work in the Engineering Department under Professor Bill Beck on microwaves and low noise electronic 'Adler' amplifiers in glass envelopes all of which he designed and built himself. He then worked for six years at the Services Electronic Research Laboratory where he started making GaAs Gunn diode oscillators before moving back to Cambridge. Here he initiated work on silicon Impatts and Trapatts with several outstanding research students working closely with the research department of STL at Harlow. His first book, on Hot Electron Microwave Generators, was written in the late 1960s. Over some forty years, his interests have remained with semiconductors and Maxwell's electromagnetic phenomena moving up in frequency from microwaves to optics and photons. His last book was on Distributed Feedback Lasers (written in conjunction with Dr. James Whiteaway of Nortel and Dr. Richard Plumb of CUED). This won the IEE Rayleigh book prize in 1999.

He is currently working on:

  • Geometric Algebra and Maxwell's equations along with enquiring how one can represent a photon using classical Maxellian theory. An invited paper on this last topic was given at SPIE, San Diego, in 2009
  • A current problem is to show that true single photons do not exhibit dispersion and investigate if such a discovery might further photonic communications


Emeritus Professor Bill Crossland

Bill Crossland held the position of Group Leader of the Photonics & Sensors Group in the Cambridge University Engineering Department from 1992, when he was appointed Northern Telecom Professor of Photonics, until his retirement at the end of September 2009. He is also Guest Professor at Southeast University, Nanjing, PR China.

Research includes:

  • Display technology and liquid crystal displays
  • Plastic liquid crystal devices
  • Tuneable liquid crystal high frequency dielectrics
  • Real-time holographic devices for displays and telecommunications systems
  • Riquid crystal-carbon nanotubes colloids

Applications include:

  • Holographic display technology
  • Phase-only holography using LCOS devices
  • Large panel liquid crystal displays using frame sequential colour techniques
  • Reflective colour displays for e-book and e-poster applications
  • Tuneable antennae structures for radio and microwave devices
  • Telecommunications modules using programmable phase gratings and holograms

Bill Crossland has been responsible for more than 50 patents and patent applications in the field of liquid crystal devices. He is generally regarded as the founding father of liquid crystal over silicon (LCOS) technologies.


Dr. Tony Davey

email: abd20

Tony Davey studied Chemistry at UCL and gained a BSc in 1962 and a PhD in high resolution UV spectroscopy in 1966. He then moved to Standard Telecommunications Laboratories in Harlow to work on metal diffusion in thin films. He worked in a variety of fields and joined the Displays group in 1979, working on electrochromic displays for one year and then moving into looking at liquid crystal electro-optic effects until 1994 when he joined the Photonics Group at Cambridge.

His current interests are:

  • Bistable smectic A displays,
  • Plastic displays, and
  • High speed nematic liquid crystals.


Professor Piero Migliorato

Piero Migliorato was born in Rome, Italy. He received his Doctorate in Physics from the University of Rome in 1969. Soon afterwards, he joined the Rome Solid State Electronics Institute of the Italian Research Council (CNR), and, subsequently, the Solid State Physics Group in Rome University. He also spent extended periods at Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, NJ, as a Member of Technical Staff and at the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (now DERA) in the UK, as a Principal Scientific Officer. Up to 1983, his research concentrated on materials and devices for optoelectronics (GaP and CuInSe2 light-emitting diodes, CdS/ CuInSe2 heterojunction detectors and solar cells, extrinsic silicon and CdTe/HgCdTe mid-infrared detectors).

In 1983 he moved to England permanently, joining the Hirst Research Centre of the General Electric Company (UK). Here he led the polycrystalline silicon thin film transistor research since its inception, becoming Chief Divisional Scientist. From 1997 through 1989 he was Visiting Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics at Liverpool University. In 1989, he joined Cambridge University, where he held the Professorship of Physical Electronics in the Department of Engineering and was a Fellow of Trinity College. He had continued in Cambridge to work on various aspects of polycrystalline silicon technology. With his group, he had developed models and simulation software for polysilicon TFTs, that are currently employed by major industrial laboratories.

Research includes:

  • Inorganic and organic TFT device physics and modelling
  • Conduction mechanisms in inorganic and organic thin films
  • Conduction mechanisms at functionalized solid-electrolyte interfaces
  • Electrical detection of biomolecular interactions with solid state sensors



Dr. John Moore

email: jrm14

John Moore studied Physics and Electronics at Manchester University and graduated with a BSc in 1965. Initially he worked in the computer and display industry until he became the Technical Director for the start-up Manitron Displays. In 1989 he founded John Moore Electronics Consultancy (JMEC Ltd), which specialises in ferroelectric and nematic liquid crystal drive circuitry for displays and spatial light modulators (SLMs) and cathode ray tube circuitry, video signal processing, and graphics applications for 2D and stereoscopic displays. He then moved to Cambridge to the Cambridge University Computer Laboratories and the Engineering Department, and received a Diploma in Computer Science in 1991, followed in 1994 by a PhD on an autostereoscopic display in a joint Computer Lab and Engineering project . He continued working on commercialising autostereoscopic displays and then rejoined the Engineering Department to work on LCOS device design and interfacing. Now, he is semi-retired, and associated with the Photonics & Sensors Group and the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE) at the Electrical Engineering Division and with JMEC Ltd. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and a member of the Society for Information Displays.